Firstly a massive ‘shout out’ and ‘thank you’ to you – please take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back and a ‘high five’. This challenging week has brought out the very best of everyone in the ESL team and there have been countless amazing examples of the strong values we share:
- Staying focused on learners and service users – all of you have done a great job dealing with so many queries and concerns from service users – adult learners feeling anxious; apprentices and young people worried about their training and jobs; parents concerned about their young people; employers dealing with potential business closure; people whose home circumstances are stressful. As ever, everyone has done their level best for the interests of our learners, apprentices, and services users.
- Individual resilience – in spite of the unfolding national crisis and lockdown, with many of you handling worries and difficult personal situations regarding your own health concerns, having children at home, caring for disabled, sick or elderly relatives, I have been so impressed how everyone has stayed calm and taken steps to juggle things to get ahead and – wherever possible – continue to do a great job.
- Great team work – there has been an amazing pulling together and a fantastic show of compassion and support. One thing you can be sure of when the chips are down, people in the ESL team look out for one another, they stand in the shoes of others, they reach out and make sure others are ok. This week team members have stepped up as part of the wider Education and Skills team – making direct contact and ringing round local Headteachers to hear how things are going and provide support.
- Creative solutions – another great asset in the ESL team is how everyone looks for new ways to tackle things, working round barriers, and coming up with really imaginative solutions. Everyone has been zooming off – quite literally – meeting remotely and working things through. Each individual ESL team is coming up with really smart remote options so that services can keep going – something I’d like to shine a light on in my briefing next week.
It is such a great honour and privilege to work with you. Thank you for everything. Have a really relaxing and enjoyable weekend.